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Hyattsville Cyclocross Race Approaches

Organizers kick into high gear as City Council approves use of Magruder Park for upcoming race.

What has 1,400 wheels, is very muddy and is held in Hyattsville? 

The answer is the Hyattsville CX cyclocross race. Last night, the Hyattsville City Council gave unanimous approval to the Route 1 Velo cycling club to hold the fourth annual Hyattsville CX at Magruder Park on Oct. 7, 2012.

Organizers hope to have between 600 and 700 racers take park in this year's race. The race is part of the Mid Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association Super 8 race series.

The race also raises funds for the Prince George's County Special Olympics program. In all four years, the race series has raised more than $15,000 for the county Special Olympics team, according to race organizer and Arrow Bicycle shop owner Chris Militello.

"It's actually money that stays in P.G. county to be used with Special Olympics athletes in P.G. county," said Militello in an interview. 

Cyclocross is a type of off-road bicycle racing which features obstacles like mud pits and small barriers which racers have to navigate as quickly as possible, often by dismounting and carrying the bike through the segment.

Last year's event included a notoriously muddy section in the woods behind Magruder Park which, especially later on in the day, could bring a speeding bike to dead halt and launch its rider into the puddle.

Militello said that race organizers will be working with the Hyattsville parks crews to mitigate the muddiness in the backwoods technical section. 

"They'll help us get some stone down there, and we'll be changing some of the turns nearby," said Militello.

But the technical backwoods section was so popular for spectators that race organizers will be adding a second beer garden and public address system nearby so that spectators can watch in comfort as the riders navigate the tricky segment. 

The event will feature a series of races throughout the day for different skill levels. The races cap-off with a professional level ride at 3 p.m. Anyone with almost any kind of bike is allowed to register for the event, but those with mountain bikes will have to leave the upright handle bar ends at home. 

Registration opens next week, according to Militello. Fees for registration have not been finalized yet, but Militello said that they would most likely run between $20 and $25.

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